How do India’s famous price sensitivity and bureaucracy affect selling foreign products in India? What does this mean for foreign brands market share in India? Back in summer 2018 we brought together the real experts on this. At M+V’s Sales Networking meet, we brought together top Sales Managers from around India who work for foreign companies selling in India. The meeting provided a platform to share their issues, share their best strategies and talk about how to sell even better in India.
- It is now easier to do business in India (thanks to GST and other reforms), but it is still not the easiest of countries.
- There is a good market for high quality foreign products and foreign companies can be very successful here.
- You need to research your market thoroughly.
- It takes time to get a foothold and build your niche, and you need to take a “long term view” and have modest expectations for the first 2-5 years.
- What worked in other countries will work in India, but you need to ensure you are selling the right products at the right price.
- Support from a company who understands the fine print and structure of the market can make all the difference.
We also learned that almost all great Sales people want to learn more about business finance and want to build the soft skills of their teams.
One of the most effective sessions for sharing was a discussion with 6-8 Sales people per table to synthesize what made them “sad, mad and glad”. The results provided great insights into the value-added that come from selling imported products in India as well as the key areas of challenge. Answers were pretty consistent across industries and regions.
The first thing they all said was that there were real benefits to selling high quality products and working for an international company in India. The good technology and product ranges led to satisfied customers and repeat orders. Most said it was possible to get dominant in their market niches thanks to the brand and reputation and continued commitment most of their companies had to providing solutions for customers. Almost all were seeing year on year growth in revenues. They were able to build strong teams with the positive work ethics and culture that come with working for an international company in India, and many found their management accessible and supportive. Having strong finances was also a big plus for a number of Sales Managers.